Should I repost species from the same location visited again?

If I revisit a park or walk for which I have already posted species sighted on iNat maybe two or three years ago, should I repost the latest obs of the same species? It will prove that species is still growing there or should I not repost them?


Yes, of course! Well, you can do what you want, but it is absolutely okay to post the same species - even the same individual - again. I am doing a streak, so I often have to post the same species again. If it is something very common, I might get bored and for example not pursue a very common butterfly.


In a sense your second question provides one of the reasons for repeating observations.

Both spatial and longitudinal data are necessary monitoring information. My concern is that it is very easy to miss, for instance, the decline of a common species because we are not monitoring them by doing repeat observations.

I frequently record the same species at the same site over many years. There is a rare orchid I have been watching and when it didn’t appear one year, I went back into the previous year’s observation to note that I’d look and not found it.


Gladiolus jonquilodorus - I need to retrieve the older photos too.


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I often photograph and post the same plant throughout the growth cycle and over a period of years. Often these are also host plants and get extra photos documenting the “ guests”.


Visiting an individual plant or population of interest at different times of the year and over a period of years, is of course something many naturalists will want to do. Since an observation is an encounter with a species at a particular time, each visit merits its own iNaturalist observation. Some of my favorite individual oak trees are near to my house, and I look forward to visiting and photographing them repeatedly as they produce catkins, leaf out, grow acorns, and drop their acorns and leaves.

Since these visits to the same individual will be related observations, I plan to provide links between them. There is a particular Black Oak (Quercus velutina) that is represented by two of my observations as of this writing, which will eventually be observed many times. Currently, there is a link from each of the two observations to the other via the observations’ notes. However, after many visits, it may become cumbersome to repeatedly update the growing list of links within every observation of this tree to all the others. So I was considering just linking from each new observation to the original one. Within the notes in the original observation, I would maintain a list of links to all the other related observations. However, if someone here has devised a better way of doing this, suggestions are welcome!

The following is a link to the original observation of the Black Oak discussed above:

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@Quercitron, for your favourite oak you can use the observation field “similar observation set”. There is a guide how to use it. Then you only have to give the # of the original observation and it all links together.


My approach might not be that common but I just take pictures of whatever I feel like every day. I use the site as a way to literally show what I encounter and that’s just how I interact with nature. I can look back and see what I saw and what I found interesting, even if it’s the same type of thing I saw the day before. Most things I share are just what caught my attention on that day and that’s just how I like to operate.


Thanks for that suggestion for linking related observations, @susanne-kasimir. I will try that instead of my original plan of maintaining lists of links in the notes area.


I would certainly do this. As others have mentioned, recording species over time in the same space, is beneficial for understanding species spread and possible decline or growth. I have made observations for species that were observed in a very similar location (<100m) 2-3 years ago, and this helps demonstrate the species is still there.


I’ve been using iNat for more than 5 years now and I often can’t remember what I’ve posted from a place I’ve visited before. So I try to hike in new places, but if I go back to a spot, I just post what I want to.


You don’t specifically mention plants in your question, but do somewhat allude to it when you say “growing”. As others have said, there are numerous reasons to repost new observations of the same plant you have posted before. I wanted to add that as far as animals go, in any given location I prefer to post an observation of a species at least once every month, because it is important to document when living things are observed in a location, and in what stage of life they are in. With global warming accelerating, this is more important than ever. Things may now be observed where they have never been observed before, or at times of year that they were never observed before.


Good thanks! I’ll do that from now on? yes sorry I should have said - I am almost only posting plant obs.


and annotating for phenology as you go?